Eppendorf's green soul in danger

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Seelemannpark on Heilwigstraße is an important piece of Hamburg's garden art history, and this idyll is now under threat.

The Seelemannpark once belonged to the Seelemann family, who owned a hospitable country house here. The city acquired the property between St. John's Church and the Alster to preserve the garden for the public. Around 1925, Hamburg's first garden director Otto Linne redesigned the area into a reform park with a central meadow area and a small children's playground. The park, which is now a listed building, has essentially remained in this form until today. Seelemannpark is used as a recreational area by many Eppendorf residents.

This idyll is now threatened since the district of Hamburg-Nord is planning to build on the park for several years with follow-up accommodation for refugees. A concept study envisages three-storey buildings taking up about a third of the park's area. As a result, the park would not only lose its monument status - as the majority of experts see it - but its long-term existence as a public green space would also be threatened.

It is questionable and has not been made fully transparent to date what criteria were used to select Seelemannpark in Eppendorf as a location for follow-up accommodation. Places of refuge and integration that our city so urgently needs. However, these should not lead to a threat to the existence of a listed park and a recreational space close to home that is so important, especially for the elderly. Here, a public park would be taken up by construction, and according to the 2012 Open Space Needs Analysis, neighbourhoods with a medium to high open space deficit are adjacent to it. Particularly in these already highly dense living areas of our city, there is a priority pressure for action to improve the provision of open space and a further shortage of high-quality green spaces should be resolutely opposed.

We therefore appeal to the district assembly: preserve Seelemannpark unchanged and in its entirety as a public park and garden monument!

On behalf of the Board, Holger Paschburg
Chairman Bund deutscher Landschaftsarchitekten (bdla) Landesverband Hamburg e.V.

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